For some time now, the open-source (OS) phenomenon has been making its presence felt; disrupting the economics of the software industry and, by proxy, the business of education. A combination of the financial pressure Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) find themselves under and the increasing focus on the use of technology to enhance students' learning have encouraged many HEIs to look towards alternative approaches to teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the “OS” has challenged assumptions about how intellectual products are created and protected and has greatly increased the quantity and arguably the quality of educational technologies available to HEIs. Hence, the article outlines the development and proliferation of OS Software (OSS) within the sphere of education. It discusses the reasons for the acceptance and spread of OSS in HEIs across Europe, outlining its role within the four key domains of higher education. Finally, the article illustrates the case of a current Tempus Project in Central Asia, for which OS-based virtual learning environments (VLEs) have provided support for the delivery of a convergent curriculum across several HEIs in Central Asia.
Open-source, Higher Education, Virtual Environments